1998 Kia Sephia from North America


A death trap on wheels!


The brakes went 4 times in the most convenient places, for example, downhill on Route 209, the parkway etc..

The transmission makes it feel like I'm riding a bull. I had it replaced after 2 years. The cost 1,300. I feel it slipping again.

Motor mounts.

Head gaskets.

Radio caught fire and melted the dashboard. (faulty wiring)

Just about everything else!

General Comments:

This car is awful! It was my first car and I am finally rid of it. In January I was driving to a vacation spot for the weekend and the smell of electricity, followed by a spark, then flames came from the radio. I immediately pulled over on the turnpike and watched it burn. Unfortunately it stopped by itself and melted the plastic on the dashboard. The radio does not work. I did not get it fixed. I had it towed to the junk heap.

This is by far the worst decision I have made for a first new car. I am afraid to buy another car. The dealership was of no help. The warranty is better if it was used as bathroom wall paper.

I will never buy a Kia again! I lived and I learned, I'm taking public transportation for a while, until I'm finished paying for the piece of junk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th April, 2002

29th Mar 2003, 15:53

The word lawsuit springs to my mind in this situation. Unfortunately all these cars from Kia are throwaway vehicles. I have had to put my foot down with the wife in recent days because she had been tempted to buy a Kia. An absurd notion!

11th Apr 2006, 21:01

You must have just had bad luck with your Kia. I own a 1998 Kia Sephia with 106,000 miles and it still runs strong. There is nothing wrong with the manufacturer, but unfortunately, people in the United States think they are not reliable because they are cheap! Not the case at all! Honda's, Toyota's, Mazda's, and all the other major brands produce "lemons", not just Kia's. It is unfortunate people write comments without knowing the truth. I highly recommend Kia and will buy another one when my 1998 finally dies.

6th May 2006, 23:31

Sorry, but look at the ratio of bad reviews to good ones. It'd be safe to say that the Sephia was a pretty bad heap of trash in general. The odds of getting a good one are far less than that of any other make.

7th May 2006, 13:33

"Sorry, but look at the ratio of bad reviews to good ones. " I'm not defending Kias, but I question the validity of this statement. Buying a car based on the ratio of good reviews too bad ones on an informal, unscientific review site is not the best idea. This logic might have some validity if every Kia owner in the world posted their experience on this site, but that isn't the case. The only thing "it'd be safe to say" is that you might have the same problems that the other posters have had. However, we just don't have enough information to say whether the Sephia was "a pretty bad heap of trash" or not, or whether "the odds of getting a good one are far less than that of any other make." It might be possible to draw those conclusions if every car owner in the world posted their experience here, but there is no way of knowing if the people who post are even a representative sample of the driving population.

1998 Kia Sephia LS 1.8 liters from North America


My number one reason to cry


I had to replace my spark plugs and the wires.

I had to replace the brakes within the first 3 months and I think it is time for the brakes to be fixed again.

The over drive on my car has gone on me.

My reverse is completely shot, I have to actually shift it back and forth until I hear it click.

My seat has a rip in it and all the other seats look worn down.

The carpets are worn out

My lights had to be straightened twice.

It takes about a min to start, it sounds as if someone is trying to choke the life out of it.

General Comments:

I will never buy a

Kia again and I feel bad for anyone who has one.

The car makes me want to run and cry, every morning I wake up and pray it is going to start.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th April, 2002

15th Aug 2003, 17:31

When you have the horrible desire to rice out a car, it really shouldn't be a Kia.